17 Time-saving Tricks for Everyday Life
Everyone is busy these days. Between work, housework, and family, the challenges of life can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are always places to be, things to do, and errands to run. It seems like there is always too much to do and not enough time. Here are 17 time-saving tricks to help manage the chaos and restore sanity.
1) Make Prioritized To-Do lists. Every morning when you get up, or before you go to bed the night before, take a few minutes and write down everything that needs to be done. Next, prioritize the list. What items are most critical? Take care of those items first, and then begin working through the rest of the list. This will allow you to concentrate on those things that are most important and lessen the impact if something comes up that prevents you from finishing everything.
2) Keep a family calendar, and keep it someplace visible, like the fridge or the back door. Put everyone’s schedule on the calendar and everything that has to be done: doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, recitals, school plays, and so on. This will help everyone save time, and avoid the hassle of constantly checking everyone’s schedule to be certain they’re in sync.
3) Run all your errands at once. Keep a list of all the errands that need to be done and do them all on one day.
4) Pay as many bills as possible automatically, and pay the rest online. Auto-bill pay allows you to pay your bills without even thinking about it. Using online payment for the rest avoids the hassle of writing checks and mailing them.
5) Sort clothes as you wear them. Keep separate bins for dark and light clothing. This will keep you from having to sort them on laundry day.
6) Have a place for everything, and be sure to put things away when not in use. This eliminates the time spent looking for common items, such as keys.
7) Have a cleaning routine– pick up and wipe down counters as you go, then clean the rest in one big push. Having a routine you use once a week will save time and simplify your schedule.
8 ) Teach kids to help clean, and to clean up after themselves. Children as young as two can be taught to pick up after themselves. Teaching them good habits young will save lots of time later on. If the kids are already older, find other ways to motivate them –such as restricting access to friends and fun activities if they aren’t willing to help out around the house.
9) Plan your weekly menu in advance. Knowing what you plan to cook or serve for each meal ahead of time will keep you from scrambling to plan dinner at the last minute. Make a list of everything you will need and go shopping once, or at most twice.
10) Save your leftovers. They can be eaten for lunch the next day, or used for casseroles and soup.
11) Cook twice what you need and freeze half. This will give you an entire frozen meal, ready to pull out and use on those busy weeknights.
12) Prepare the night before. Establish a routine every evening to get ready for the next day. It saves a lot of time during the morning rush when lunches and clothing are ready to go when you get up.
13) Limit TV watching time. Decide what you really have to watch and only turn the TV on for those shows.
14) Ask for early appointments. The later an appointment is the more likely it is to be delayed.
15) Make time for vehicle maintenance. It costs less time in the long run to take your car in for an oil change during lunch than to have it repaired later when something goes wrong.
16) Hire someone to do necessary tasks that will take up lots of time, like house repairs and yard work.
17) Delegate when necessary and possible. No one can get everything done. When you need help at home or work, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Guest author, George Baker, knows a lot of things, but is the ultimate expert on Hoover bags, as he’s spent the vast majority of his time doing research on numatic vacuum bags. See www.sparesnextday.co.uk for more information.
Photos from sxc.hu. Used with permission.